Mexican Vegetable Soup
Serve with baked toasted corn tortillas.

Servings: 4

• 2 pounds large plum tomatoes
• 2 medium onions, peeled, halved
• 1 1/2-inch piece cinnamon stick
• 6 whole black peppercorns
• 4 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
• 1 large jalapeño chili
• 2 corn tortillas, cut in half

• 2 teaspoons chopped canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce

• 1 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 1/4 teaspoons dried oregano
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 5 cups water
• 1 1 1/2-pound butternut squash, peeled, halved, seeded, cut into bite size cubes
• 3/4 pound red-skinned potatoes, peeled, cut into bite size cubes
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 - 15 ounce can garbanzo beans, undrained
• 1/4 pound green beans, trimmed, cut into one inch pieces
• 1 cup frozen corn kernels
• 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

• Additional corn tortillas (optional)
• Lime wedges for garnish

Preheat broiler. Line baking sheet with heavy-duty foil and place tomatoes close together on the sheet. Broil close to heat source until blackened in spots, turning once with tongs, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer tomatoes to plate and cool. Place onion halves close together on same sheet. Broil until surfaces are charred, turning once with tongs, about 4 minutes per side. Set aside to cool.

Heat a heavy cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat 2 minutes. Using tongs, place cinnamon strip, peppercorns, garlic cloves, and jalapeño pepper in hot skillet. Toast until fragrant and charred, turning and stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes for cinnamon and peppercorns and 8 minutes for garlic and jalapeño. Transfer all to plate. Place tortilla halves in same hot skillet. Toast until browned in spots and crisp, pressing often with spatula, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer tortillas to plate; cool, then break into very small pieces.

After the charred tomatoes have cooled, peel, halve crosswise, and spoon out the seeds. Cut away most of most of the black surface from broiled onions and then chop. Peel garlic cloves. Stem, quarter and seed jalapeño pepper. Place tomatoes, onions, garlic, jalapeño and chipotle chilies in processor. Finely grind cinnamon, peppercorns, and toasted tortillas in spice mill or coffee grinder; add to processor. Blend soup base until smooth, about 5 minutes.

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat 2 minutes. Add soup base from processor, oregano, and cumin. Cook (sear) until base thickens enough to leave path when spoon is drawn through, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add 5 cups water, squash, potatoes, and 1 teaspoon salt; bring soup to boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer until vegetables are almost tender, about 15 minutes. Add garbanzo beans with liquid, green beans, and corn. Cover; simmer until all vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes longer. Mix in cilantro and adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Toast tortillas directly over gas flame or electric burner until browned in spots but still soft, about 40 seconds per side. Wrap in foil; keep warm.

Ladle soup into bowls. Serve with lime wedges and warm corn tortillas.

Per Serving: 457 Calories; 6g Fat (11.4% calories from fat); 1g Saturated Fat; 14g Protein; 96g Carbohydrate; 18g Dietary Fiber; trace Cholesterol; 899mg Sodium. Exchanges: 5 Grain (Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 3 Vegetable; 1 Fat.

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